Replaced the lower ball joint and wheel hub on my truck - Diesel Place : Chevrolet and GMC Diesel Truck Forums
 
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Suspension & Steering - 2001 - 2010 Discuss OEM & aftermarket suspension, lifts, street suspension, air ride suspension, steering components, etc. First through fourth generation.

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Old 02-05-2020, 05:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
davester
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Replaced the lower ball joint and wheel hub on my truck

Just did one side, as I don't work particularly fast. Rockauto has/had Timken hubs on sale for under $100 as a closeout special, and mine were making some noise, and Moog K6693 lower ball joints, as the boot on one of them had split and they were of unknown age.

There are lots of videos on how to do the job, just wanted to post some tips from me doing it.

I did it the "home" way, in that instead of removing the torsion bar, etc.. as described in the full service manual, I just put a jackstand under the LCA, and just removed enough to get the job done.

You can replace the lower ball joint without disconnecting the upper ball joint or tie rod. Doing it this way sucks. There was barely enough clearance to get the original stud out of the knuckle [needed to pry on it a bit] (installing it on the new Moog one wasn't a problem as the threaded part was shorter), and the UCA & knuckle also just barely gave me enough room to get my ball joint press in place to remove and installed the ball joints with a wrench [there was no room for a ratchet/socket or use an impact on it]. Doing the upper ball joint or replacing the UCA at the same time would make the job a lot more straightforward.


It's possible to get a bit more clearance, by jacking the frame of the truck up, so the LCA will drop down a bit relative to the frame. I didn't do this, as I didn't want to risk it possibly slipping on the jackstand, and dealing with that train wreck.


And a tip for installing the ball joint. You need to make sure the location of the grease fitting is facing the correct way, but it can be a juggling act getting all the parts of the ball joint press tool in place properly, and it can be easy for the ball joint to be rotated while doing this, and you can't see where it's pointing with the tool in place. I used a yellow paint marker to put a mark on the outside edge of the ball joint socket, just by where the spacer for the ball joint press goes, and it was easy to get it aligned properly with the tool in place.

Fortunately, I had coated the splines of the axles with anti-seize compound, so they came out pretty easily. When I removed them from my parts truck (when I upgrade my truck to 4wd), I had to make a press to get them out...

I think I'll get some upper ball joints before doing the other side, so it'll be an easier job to do, and the upper ones have about 100k km on them. They still seem good, but they are likely nearer the end of their life than the beginning....

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Old 02-05-2020, 05:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
davester
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Here's a pic of where I put that alignment mark:
IMG_1547.jpg

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Old 02-14-2020, 05:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
davester
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Replaced the driver's side upper & lower ball joints, wheel hub, and brake hose.


As I thought, doing both the upper & lower made it easier to make space to work the ball joint press tool, but to make sure the job didn't go too fast, the upper ball joint sucked to separate from the knuckle, and the inside of the rotor was nice and rusted and really didn't want to slide over the edge of the hub both coming off and going on.


I did have to cut off the threaded end of the upper ball joint to be able to get my press tool on, in order to get the old one out.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
davester
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I replaced the brake hose (and I have a couple more to do), because it was already looking sketchy, in that the outer plastic covering of the Russell braided stainless steel lines was cracking and coming off.

And here are some pics showing the difference between the Russell lines and the oem line:
IMG_1548.jpg
IMG_1549.jpg
IMG_1550.jpg

As you can see, the end that bolts to the caliper isn't bent line the OEM line, it only had that crappy rubber-covered bracket for bolting to the knuckle (so, also use the same style bracket for holding the abs sensor wire in place), and I had to repurpose the bracket from the previous line to prevent the hose from being able to flop against the wheel. Finally, the end that the brake line fitting goes into, bolts instead of clips to the bracket (not a big deal, unless you switch back to the oem style, and you no longer have the clip to hold it in place, fortunately I have a parts truck to get replacements from).


The other front line looks similar (outer case worn & cracking), so it's also going to be replaced soon, as well as the remaining Russell rear brake line just so they're all gone [the other rear brake line was too long and flopped against the rear wheel, causing it to fail after about a month and was replaced then].


IMHO, Russell should not have even bothered making this product. It's both poorly and cheaply fabricated, and it's only selling point is that it's made with braided stainless steel hose.
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Old Today, 04:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
davester
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Finished up the job, did the upper passenger side ball joint & brake hose yesterday, and the rear passenger brake hose today.


Don't know why, but the front hoses just included the hose & 2 copper washers, while the rear hose included the hose, 2 copper washers, the banjo bolt and the bracket for where the hose connects to the axle brake line.
IMG_1551.jpg


And the Motive Pressure Bleeder makes bleeding the brakes a quick job...
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Old Today, 09:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting!
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